It was nice to watch the final election results/speeches at 2PM instead of 2AM for once. Being abroad for a US election was an interesting experience. In general, I think it is a common misconception that people in other parts of the world give 2 shits about America. Much like American’s really don’t care about other countries, unless they have oil, cocaine or Beatles.
However, the election was a different subject. In the weeks leading up to it, many people from all over the world asked me who I thought was going to win. I said I didn’t know. And the response from every single person, no matter what their background or nationality was some variation of “I hope Barak wins”. As an American living abroad, you can probably imagine that I was a little on edge knowing that the polls were basically at 50:50 going in to the election and every person that I had talked to was rooting for Barack.
I’m no scientist, but do you think maybe there is something about the foreign policy of a Democratic administration that makes the rest of the world not be disgusted by Americans? I’m sure there are some people reading this and grumbling to yourself “hand outs, Democrats make America weak, grumble grumble”. To which I would like to simply respond, how is it a weakness if people from other countries have a positive image of the leader of America? I think there is nothing stronger.
Needless to say, I was relieved when the results came in and I knew I would be answering the question “are you excited?!” vs. “what the hell happened?” I felt a sense of pride about America on Tuesday that I never felt when I was living abroad in 2007 (when I, on several occasions, encountered burning US flags, Bush effigies and Death to America signs). I was Canadian more than once during that time.
I get a special feeling of joy from all the people who updated their facebook statuses after the election results saying, “That’s it! I’m moving out of America! Rar rar rar”. Well friends, go for it, and you will soon be very happy that when you show your passport, that there is a Democratic president associated with it.